Academic Programs of Study

Religious Studies

Bachelor of Arts - BA

  • Concentration in Church Ministry
  • Concentration in Christian Tradition
  • Comprehensive overview of religious traditions

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Religious Studies at Marywood

For students majoring or minoring in religious studies, the department offers a wide range of study of the beliefs, practices, and values of Christianity and Judaism as well as other religious traditions. While special attention is given to the Catholic tradition, the offerings are broad enough to benefit you in your own search for religious meaning and for a basis in making ethical decisions. You'll graduate with general knowledge in scripture, morality, sacraments, and spirituality, and perhaps even a background in ministry. You'll be prepared to carry out Marywood's goal for all students: learning to live responsibly in an interdependent world.

More About This Degree

Daniel Cosacchi, Ph.D.
Courses: Modern Belief; Political and Liberation Theology; Social Morality: National Issues; Foundations of Christian Morality; Sacraments in Practice; Christian Social Morality: A Global Perspective; Racism and the Church

Sr. Mary Ann Zimmer, N.D., Ph.D.
Courses: Modern Belief (RST 112), Introduction to the Bible (RST 201), Jesus and the Gospels (RST 204)

Melinda Krokus, MA., Ph.D
Courses: Modern Belief Exploring Asian Religions Women and Religion Health and Healing in the World's Spiritual Traditions Peacemaking: Judaism, Christianity, and Islam Spirit and Nature: Why the environment is a religious issue
This is just a sample of our Religious Studies faculty - see them all!

Most graduates go directly into such fields as youth ministry and teaching religion while pursuing graduate study. Recently, graduates have gone on to Notre Dame, Boston College, and Catholic University.

Undergraduate Admissions Requirements

  • Official SAT and/or ACT scores
  • Completed application
  • Essay
  • Official transcripts
  • Letter of recommendation

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For the B.A. in Religious Studies, 36 credit hours are required in the major, 18 of which must be earned at Marywood. Transferred credits are applied to the major with department approval. The maximum number of total credits needed to graduate with a B.A. in Religious Studies is 120.

The following courses are required for all Religious Studies majors:

RST 112 Modern Belief
RST 201 Introduction to the Bible
RST 213 Jesus in Contemporary Perspective
RST 214 The Church Today
RST 215 Foundations of Christian Morality
RST 225 Sacraments in Practice

Under faculty advisement, a Religious Studies major has the option of pursuing one of two areas of concentration:

Concentration 1 is for majors who, upon graduation, intend to engage in some form of church ministry (e.g., as directors of religious education, teachers of religion, and youth ministers).

Courses required for Concentration 1:

RST 340 Seminar: Religion and Education
RST 342 Seminar: Church Ministry
RST 443 Directed Field Experience

Concentration 2 is for majors desiring to concentrate their study in the Christian tradition.

Courses required for Concentration 2:

RST 205 Seminar; Readings in the Theology of Radical Human Existence
RST 340 Seminar: Religion and Education
RST 342 Seminar: Church Ministry
RST 444 Senior Research

In addition, nine credit hours in Religious Studies electives must also be completed in each concentration.

Both concentrations prepare a student for graduate work. Majors are encouraged to complement their studies with specific cognate courses from other departments that relate to their particular interests and needs; for example, majors in Concentration 1 are advised to schedule PSYC 251, Developmental Psychology; EDUC 311, Educational Psychology, and EDUC 414, Social Foundations of Education.

Students who are either majoring or minoring in Religious Studies and meet nationally established criteria will be invited to membership in Marywood’s chapter of Theta Alpha Kappa, National Honor Society for Theology/Religious Studies.

CAPSTONE REQUIREMENT: Because the ability to integrate interdisciplinary resources is essential to the program, a capstone paper is required in the last course the student takes to meet the program requirements. The parameters of this capstone paper will be negotiated by the student to the satisfaction of the course professor at the beginning of the course.